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Tue, 4 August 2020

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Robert Jenrick to unveil radical shake-up of ‘complex and outdated planning system’ this week

Robert Jenrick to unveil radical shake-up of ‘complex and outdated planning system’ this week

Robert Jenrick said 'for too long home ownership has remained out of reach for too many' (PA)

2 min read

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick is due to unveil a radical shake-up of the “complex and outdated planning system” this week.

The measures are part of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s aim to “build, build, build” out of the coronavirus downturn, which the Government hopes will speed up the creation of millions of new homes.

The Cabinet minister is proposing to completely overhaul the system in England for approving new construction, much of which has been in place since just after the Second World War.

It will involve quicker development on land designated "for renewal", with a "permission in principle" approach.

But it will still ensure areas of outstanding natural beauty and the green belt are protected from development.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government said the new process will be done through democratic local agreement, as well as being clearer and cutting out red tape.

Mr Jenrick said: "For too long home ownership has remained out of reach for too many, as a complex and outdated planning system has failed to keep up with the needs of our country.

"I am completely overhauling the system so we can build more good quality, attractive and affordable homes faster - and more young families can finally have the key to their own home."

In an op-ed for The Sunday Telegraph, he wrote: "John Ruskin said that we must build, and 'when we do, let us think that we build forever'. That will be the guiding principle as we set out the future of the planning system.

"We will build environmentally-friendly homes that will not need to be expensively retrofitted in the future, homes with green spaces and new parks at close hand, where tree-lined streets are provided for in law, where neighbours are not strangers.”

The new plans will focus on quality and design, the department said, and be inspired by the design codes which built the picturesque city of Bath, the village of Bournville and Belgravia district in London.

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